Root Canal Treatment: Words To Learn

definitionDo you find yourself staring into the distance, eyes glazed over, as we talk with you about your upcoming root canal treatment? If you find that there are some new words coming your way that you don’t understand, it’s best to stop us in our tracks to let us know. Of course, we do our best to explain terminology as we go. However, if we skip a beat, it’s entirely okay to ask for a definition. To get started, we suggest you become familiar with the basic jargon you’re likely to hear, so you realize this is just another helpful restorative treatment that will repair your smile.

What’s Dental Pulp Got To Do With It?

Dental pulp is something you’ll hear about during your root canal treatment. It’s generally the reason you need such a procedure. The pulp is soft tissue. Within it, blood vessels remain protected, which provide your tooth with oxygen and nutrients. When it’s damaged, it cannot regenerate, so the best thing for your oral health is for us to remove it. Otherwise, the problem will worsen until infection spreads or abscesses and you have a complicated issue to deal with. Translation: You won’t have to deal with tooth loss.

What’s Gutta Percha?

When we provide you with a root canal treatment, we remove the dental pulp from within your tooth. Your tooth is open as we work, removing decayed and infected tissue and cleaning your roots. To make sure your tooth is sealed in an airtight fashion (so bacteria don’t wander back in), we begin by sealing your roots with gutta percha. It’s rubbery and will offer wonderful protection.

What’s A Root Canal, Exactly?

The term “root canal” literally refers to the deep chambers of your teeth, resting within your gum tissue and jawbone. However, you may hear this same phrase used in place of the full-length treatment name “root canal treatment.”


At Lake Orion Family Dentistry, Dr. Brad Greenfield works to improve patients’ wellbeing, as well as their oral health, and he is proud to offer holistic, 100% metal-free dentistry. To learn more, or to schedule a dental appointment, call our office in Lake Orion, MI, today at 248-693-6213. We proudly welcome patients and families from around Lake Orion, MI, as well as Auburn Hills, Rochester Hills, Clarkston, Oxford, all surrounding communities.